Move On Up!
Jolyon, congratulations on your promotion to a race seat with the team in 2016. How does it feel to know that you will be a fully-fledged F1 race driver next season?
It feels pretty unbelievable! Itís been such a long journey and Iím so glad to have been confirmed as a race driver with the team next year. A lot of hard work has gone into preparing for this to happen and into proving what Iím capable of delivering. Iím very grateful to everyone who has so far helped me at the team; Iím now looking forward to 2016 and to build on the experience that I already have.
Do you feel a real sense of achievement?
Yes definitely. Getting into Formula 1 has never been harder. When I won GP2 in 2014 I felt that I was ready to move up back then so it feels like it has been a long time coming. At the same time, this year has been very good. I have enjoyed working with the team and ultimately it has given me the chance to prove what Iím capable of. Iím absolutely ready for it now!
How much have you learnt from working closely with the team at Enstone and at the races this year?
I have learnt a huge amount with the team this year. It has opened my eyes to the world of Formula 1. GP2 is high level, the drivers are good and the car is very solid but F1 is another level. The technology involved is immense and so advanced, there is a lot to get your head around. Also, working with so many engineers and the team as a whole is a completely different experience to GP2. Iím now better prepared than ever.
You have driven a good number of Free Practice and test sessions in 2015. How useful has it been to be hands-on this season?
To be getting a lot of mileage in the car was the most important aspect for me this year. It has also proved valuable to show everyone in the team what I can deliver behind the wheel. Driving in FP1 during a Grand Prix weekend, when you have a specific run plan to achieve in a ninety minutes session that will be key to the teamís preparation for the rest of the weekend, means that the pressure is on each time. I have also learnt a great deal in engineering meetings and during simulator sessions at Enstone.
You and Pastor will be team mates next season. Does it help already knowing the driver you will race alongside with?
Iím very pleased to be working with Pastor next season. We have worked well together this year and Iíve been driving alongside him in FP1 already. Itís good to know that there will be continuity.
Will you now carry on your preparations ahead of 2016 and will it be a studious winter break for you?
Yes absolutely. There are no drastic changes for me until the end of this season and I will carry on with my duties. However, Iíll be doing everything I can over the winter to be the fittest and healthiest Iíve ever been and give it my best shot in 2016. Iím now super motivated and excited. Itís just great that Iíll be carrying on with the team and be a race driver next year. I canít wait to be on the grid in Melbourne in 2016!